Lung Association seeks bylaw to regulate wood stoves

The New Brunswick Lung Association is trying to get Fredericton city council to adopt a by-law that would regulate the use of wood stoves in the city. They made their case in front of the public safety committee to try and get the ball rolling.

Lung Association president wants regulations for the entire province, eventually

The N.B. Lung Association says it's time for wood stoves to be regulated in the province. (CBC )

The New Brunswick Lung Association is urging Fredericton city council to regulate the use of wood stoves in the city.   

 Barbara MacKinnon, president of the N.B. Lung Association, told the city's public safety committee changes need to be made.

"We have this situation in Fredericton where a number of people who have asthma, or COPD, or a heart condition are getting smoke in their homes from their neighbours," said MacKinnon.

"At present, they have no legal recourse to stop that from happening," she said.

MacKinnon said wood smoke is a major source of pollution in many communities, especially when wood stoves are not used properly.

"Some people aren't using their wood stoves correctly. They may be building their fire inaccurately," said MacKinnon.

"They're burning trash, or painted wood. All of those things create more emissions than dried lumber."

MacKinnon wants the city to enact a bylaw to regulate how wood stoves are installed and to consider 'no burn' days, as well as banning certain types of wood stoves.  

Council agree to look into the matter by calling for a staff report on the issues raised. Counc. John MacDermid says this will give them a better understanding of what needs to be done going forward.

"There are a lot of stoves out there. How do you regulate it? What's the regulatory system we're going to set up?" said MacDermid.

"But I think at least getting a staff report is the appropriate first step for this so that we can move forward and make an educated decision," he said.

MacKinnon hopes that this will spark change in more than just Fredericton. This is something she would like to see throughout the entire province.

"While we're waiting for that, in order to protect people's health, we would like some of the larger municipalities to enact a bylaw about this," said MacKinnon.

About the Author

Philip Drost

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.

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